I felt a momentary twinge of sadness, regret even, when I noticed that the college graduations happening several weeks ago were those of my son’s former classmates. Four years already? Was my first thought – how could it have been four years since his high school graduation? And then, the sadness. Sadness that we were not celebrating Chris’s college graduation. Sadness that his plans were interrupted. Sadness that life sometimes throws a curveball.
How could we have known that day Chris came home after his sophomore year that the sleep deprivation he suffered was caused by hours and hours of nighttime seizures? Or that by following the brain mapping road we assumed would lead to brain surgery and a cure ultimately left Chris in the same place as before but with two years lost?
And then, it was gone. My brief flirt with self-pity and regret was replaced with gratitude. I mean, really? I was mourning the loss of a diploma and a party. What I have instead is a son who is being transformed by God and his circumstances into a young man of grace and sincerity during these years of uncertainty.
Although he struggles daily with side effects from his meds and still experiences many seizures in the night hours, in many ways Chris is thriving. His experience dealing with what can be a debilitating and sometimes fatal medical condition has left him with a renewed vision for his future. Each day he accomplishes something that brings him closer to owning his own business; with entrepreneurial dreams he looks to the years ahead with hope and not dread.
Just the other day Chris asked me if there’s a Bible verse that speaks to moving forward and forgetting the past. I gave him this:
“…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
He and his business partner have decided to make that their theme verse for Innovate Clothing, LLC.
Yes. I can learn a lot from this young man.
What about you? Have you been haunted or filled with regret by what you see as lost days, weeks, months or even years?
God sent a big fish to interrupt Jonah’s life, then caused that fish to carry Jonah right to where God wanted him. Your situation – dare I call it your Big Fish – has been carrying you to the exact place you need to be when you are released from it. You might say that epilepsy is Chris’s Big Fish, the time spent inside it is shaping him to be the man he needs to be.
This time is not lost time, it’s grace time. What are you doing with your grace time?